April 23, 2024

With the remaining quarter of the year, the decreasing supply of pork meat and live hogs are becoming evident due to the continuing effect of the African swine fever in Benguet.
Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan has attributed the decreasing volume to the limited supply of pork coming from the lowlands, which are greatly affected by the ASF virus.
The province gets 90 percent of its pork and live hog supply from lowland provinces while hog raisers from Benguet towns only supply 10 percent of the demand.
“There is shortage. We really expect it towards December until next year,” Tiongan said, adding there are those who will still conduct cultural rituals that involve butchering of pigs.
She said they also expect that the price of one piglet would increase from P3,500 to P4,000 per head.
Even with the pandemic, the OpVet is encouraging local hog raisers, most especially in the far-flung areas without cases to continue raising pigs to supply their own communities. 
The Department of Agriculture has reported that Benguet’s neighboring provinces such as Ilocos Sur have been recently added to the list of ASF-hit areas with 67 pigs culled in Tagudin town. 
New ASF cases were also reported in Alaminos City, Bolinao, Bani, Bugallon, Natividad, Infanta, and Dasol, all in Pangasinan as well as in Sudipen, Pugo, Aringay, and Agoo in La Union.
In the Cordillera, new cases were reported in Asipulo, Ifugao and Tabuk City, Kalinga.
In Benguet, the latest confirmed ASF case was recorded in Buyacaoan, Buguias in which seven heads of growers were culled. The pigpen is near the pathway in the community that led to the exposure of the pigs from the virus.
The World Health Organization has warned hog raisers not to feed their pigs with swill or food scraps since it is one of the sources of the virus. Heightened biosecurity in the swine farm is also highly encouraged as humans and vehicles could also be carriers of the ASF virus through clothing and shoes.
The OpVet also warned local hog raisers not to buy new stocks of pigs especially from ASF-affected areas and from undocumented traders.
Hog raisers are urged to immediately report to the OpVet any case of symptoms of the disease and to regularly monitor their swine. – Ofelia C. Empian